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Badmintonis a racquet sport played usingracquetsto hit ashuttlecockacross anet. Although itmay be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" (with oneplayer per side) and "doubles" (with two players per side). Badminton is often played as a casualoutdoor activity in a yard or on a beach; formal games are played on a rectangular indoor court.Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and landing it within the opposingside's half of the court.Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. Play ends once theshuttlecock has struck the floor or if a fault has been called by the umpire, service judge, or (intheir absence) the opposing side.The shuttlecock is a feathered or (in informal matches) plastic projectile which flies differentlyfrom the balls used in many other sports. In particular, the feathers create much higherdrag,causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly. Shuttlecocks also have a high top speedcompared to the balls in other racquet sports. The flight of the shuttlecock gives the sport itsdistinctive nature.The game developed inBritish Indiafrom the earlier game ofbattledore and shuttlecock.European play came to be dominated byDenmarkbut the game has become very popular inAsia, with recent competitions dominated byChina. Since 1992, badminton has beenaSummer Olympic sportwithfour events: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, andwomen's doubles,with mixed doubles added four years later. At high levels of play, the sportdemands excellent fitness: players requireaerobic stamina,agility, strength, speed, andprecision. It is also a technical sport, requiring goodmotor coordinationand the development ofsophisticated racquet movements.Games employingshuttlecockshave been played for centuries acrossEurasia,[a]but the moderngame of badminton developed in the mid-19th century among theBritishas a variant of theearlier game ofbattledore and shuttlecock. ("Battledore" was an older term for "racquet".)Itsexact origin remains obscure. The name derives from theDuke of Beaufort'sBadmintonHouseinGloucestershire,but why or when remains unclear. As early as 1860, a London toydealer namedIsaac Sprattpublished a booklet entitledBadminton Battledore – A New Game, butno copy is known to have survived.An 1863 article inThe Cornhill Magazinedescribesbadminton as "battledore and shuttlecock played with sides, across a string suspended somefive feet from the ground".The game may have originally developed among expatriate officers inBritish India,where it wasvery popular by the 1870s.Ball badminton, a form of the game played with a wool ball insteadof a shuttlecock, was being played inThanjavuras early as the 1850sand was at first playedinterchangeably with badminton by the British, the woollen ball being preferred in windy or wetweather.